Car accidents are stressful situations. The sudden shock of impact can disorient even veteran drivers. However, Georgia expects its drivers to safely and responsibly manage these situations in compliance with the law.
Nearly every Georgian will experience a car accident at some point in their lives. Drivers can prepare themselves by understanding what to do immediately following a crash.
How to safely deal with a crash in Georgia
The following guidelines offer Georgia residents a safe way to handle a car crash while protecting themselves from unnecessary legal action:
- Remain at the scene: Even if the accident seems minor, drivers should not leave the scene until checking in with others. Leaving could incur a hit-and-run charge and compromise a liability claim.
- Check for injuries: Drivers then must check themselves, their passengers and the occupants of other cars for injuries. If anyone is hurt, call 911.
- Exchange information: Drivers involved in an accident in Georgia must exchange identification and insurance information. Make sure to collect names, addresses, contact information, insurance policy information, and even the vehicle identification number (VIN) and the names and badge numbers of any responding officers. While working with other drivers, do not talk about the accident. Insurance companies may argue that an apology is an admittance of fault.
- Collect evidence: Next, drivers should collect as much evidence as possible. Take photos and videos of the scene so that insurance adjusters can accurately assess the crash, the resulting damage and who is liable.
- Inform insurance company: To secure compensation for damages, drivers must inform their insurance company of the accident. Since Georgia is a “fault” state, an insurance adjuster will investigate the accident for liability and assess the claim.
Georgians must file a police report if the accident caused injury, death or over $500 in damages. Some insurance companies may require a police report as well.
An attorney can help
Those recently involved in a car accident can reach out to a local lawyer familiar with Georgia’s car accident laws. An attorney will assess a liability claim, help work with law enforcement and navigate dense insurance paperwork.